Convergent Hollywood, DVD, and the transformation of the home entertainment industries

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Sebok, Bryan Robert, 1978-

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In 1997, DVD was introduced to the American public, beginning the fastest diffusion of any consumer electronics product in history. In this dissertation, I show how DVD, via favorable conditions in industry, technology, culture, economics, and the regulatory environment, replaced existing home video and computing technologies while transforming home entertainment. I analyze how DVD was successfully developed and commercialized by member firms in the filmed entertainment, consumer electronics, and computing industries from 1994-2002. I demonstrate how a new industry developed around DVD through unprecedented cooperation between these three industries. This study uses trade publications, mainstream press reports, industry data, advertisements, depositions to congress, and published interviews with industry members to analyze a process that has been understudied by scholars. Through the use of these resources, I explore how demand for the technology developed within existing contexts and how myriad forces aligned to enable the emergence of a new disc technology. Furthermore, I demonstrate how DVD reshaped these contexts while transforming the nature and business of filmed content distribution. DVD initiated a new era for digital content distribution. This era was marked by the convergence of three industries, new levels of access to filmed entertainment, mobilized viewing opportunities, the conflation of the computer and the television set, and heightened efforts to protect content through a variety of legal, regulatory, and technological strategies.